The Second Man

Catch him in a weak moment, and he might say that he envies the other man. After all, the other man gets to dance with the ambassadors daughter, play a couple rounds of black jack and jump out of a window to get away from a firefight. The other man drives a sportscar and wears a thousand dollar suit. The other man is handsome, all angles, cheekbones to cut cheese with, eyes as dark and mysterious as the space between stars.

Our fella drives a small, modest car not worth naming. He has a open, honest face, the kind you trust immediately. He’s not the kind of guy you pick out for a one night stand, he’s the sort of fella that you bring home and build a life with. He’s not a violent man, he’s never flown into a rage or into anything, really, without thinking. You once saw him catch a spider and set it free outside.

He’s the kind of guy who you want to help when he’s just started his new job at the embassy, and of course you’ll let him into the ambassadors office so he can clean up the glass on the floor from when that spy leapt out the window, and wasn’t that crazy? What a night! Now you have to go because that guy might come back, and you’re going to be ready, and would he lock up afterwards? Of course he will. He doesn’t mind.

If something is missing later, you know who it was, it was that guy with the sportscar and the dame on his arm who cheated at poker and lead everyone on a merry chase. You don’t even think about him, the man with the sweet face, and the kind eyes, the man who had to leave work a couple weeks later to take care of his ailing mother. Why, you gave him a gift basket when he left, and then you never, ever thought of him again.

He likes it that way.